In national universities and public Great Schools, the French Government pays subsidies for student's tuition fees (about €11,000 per year). This kind of "automatic scholarship" applies to both French and international students. Students pay registration fees instead of tuition fees.

This participates to the French tradition of free access to Education and Knowledge for anyone. Annual tuition rates at public institutions are set by law. The rates for the 2011–12 academic year are, by degree program:

    €177 for licence programs
    €245 for master's programs
    €372 for doctoral programs
    €584 for programs leading to the diplôme d’ingénieur

Additional fees may be assessed for specific services.

Tuition rates at private institutions—particularly schools of business and management—is generally higher (from €3,000 to €11,000 annually).